What’s the deal with Korean fried chicken?

4 March, 2021

Why the world’s gone mad for Korean fried chicken

It’s official. The world is going nuts for Korean fried chicken. Anyone who’s tasted the other KFC – as we like to call it – knows there’s nothing quite like the combination of perfectly crispy chicken skin and mouth-watering, juicy meat. Once tasted, it’s hard to have chicken any other way. 

As Chatswood celebrates the opening of its latest Korean fried chicken outlet – Chicken V – let’s take a closer look at this Korean phenomenon and find out just what makes it so addictive.

Why is Korean fried chicken so popular?

First the history bit. We can thank the Americans for introducing the concept of fried chicken to Korea after many of them were stationed there during the Korean War in the 1950s. But it wasn’t until 1977 when the first fried chicken franchise – Lim’s Chicken – opened in the basement of a Seoul department store.
Lim’s crispy pieces of chicken were a hit and it wasn’t long before countless chicken hofs (pubs), stalls and chains – such as Kyochon and NeNe Chicken (Ne Ne translates as Yes! Yes! in Korean) – followed suit. There are now more than 36,000 fried chicken outlets in South Korea, cementing the dish as a staple food in Korean culture.
It was only a matter of time before many Korean fried chicken chains expanded overseas, particularly to the US, Canada, South East Asia and, luckily for us, Australia.

What makes Korean fried chicken special?

As well as that crispy/succulence combo, Korean fried chicken simply tastes good, thanks to the myriad flavourings, such as gochujang – also known as hot pepper paste – honey soy, or garlic used. 

The secret to the chicken’s crispy exterior and moist centre is a thin batter of corn starch (sometimes wheat flour or rice flour is added too) which is then fried not once, but twice.

What is served with Korean fried chicken?

In South Korea, fried chook goes hand in hand with beer. There’s even a word to describe the pairing – chimaek, a combination of the English word “chicken” and “maekju,” the Korean word for beer.

In a typical Korean chicken hof, the fried chicken and beer is usually accompanied by pickled radish or pickled cucumber. The sour, vinegary texture acts as a palate cleanser and helps to cut through the heaviness of the chicken. Some people also like to team it with Korean-style rice or kimchi mayonnaise

How do I make Korean fried chicken at home?

Look, let’s be honest. Making crispy but succulent, mouth-watering Korean fried chicken is an art which, some might suggest, is best left to the experts. But if you’re game, why not try one of these recipes?

Where to enjoy Korean fried chicken in Chatswood

Originating from South Korea, Chicken V has been serving up delicious fried chicken since 1995. Choose to have it served traditionally or slathered in one of their signature sauces. Also check out Tori Korean Street Food, where fried chicken is on the menu alongside tasty treats such as homemade fishcakes and prawn panko.